Report of the National Threshers Reunion


| September/October 1959



Mr. B. L. Weaver

Mr. B. L. Weaver and his 22 Double Keck-Gonnerman

"The best Reunion we have had yet!"

Such was the enthusiastic comment of Rev. Elmer Ritzman, as he bade us good-bye after the 15th annual Reunion of the National Threshers Association, Inc., held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 25-27, 1959 at the beautiful Fairgrounds of Williams County, Montpelier, Ohio. A record number of fine engines, a record attendance, hot but fair weather, all combined to make this the outstanding event in the world of steam engine fan gatherings. (According to Elmer, this is not bragging, mere a plain statement of fact).

This was the "Year for the Port Huron" in the NTA program, just as next year will be the "Year of the Baker," and so on, until we have honored all the makes of engines present at the Reunions. Of course the reason we designated this the Port Huron year was to feature the 19-63 Port Huron recently purchased by the Association and women's auxiliary from, the estate of the late Louis David. Peter Bucher of Fairfield, Iowa, was in charge of the engine, and gave as his considered opinion, "She's a pretty good little engine." Coming from an expert like Pete, we felt this praise justified our pride in the engine.

In addition to the NTA engine, we had about a dozen other Port Hurons at the Reunion, and over 35 large engines in all. LeRoy Blaker had not only his rubber-tired 24-75 Port Huron but also the iron-wheeled 24-75 Longfellow that had not been out of his saw mill in 14 years. We also honored the old Port Huron Thresher Company workers who are still living, and presented Life Membership certificates and blue-and-gold lapel pins to ten former employees of the company. The Port Huron city manager, Mr. Richard Riley, came down for the event, and presented to the association two large framed lithographs of the Port Huron engine and separator from the City of Port Huron.

Again we staged two big parades, Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, with Amos Rixmann of Oklahoma City as chairman, assisted by Robert Smith of Payne, Ohio. Their accurate and colorful interpretation of the parade added much to the occasion.

Paul Groenweg, a man of about 30 years of age in 1932 takes a 32 inch Case separator and mounted it on an IHC truck chassis and a 110 HP Hollscott motor on top of the separator to furnish power for threshing and transportation. In one picture is Paul and his brother Walter. Paul used this unit seven seasons and averaged 20 threshing days per season, doing shock and stack threshing. By rigging it up like this made it a one man outfit and also rapid in moving from job to job.

In shock threshing they used eight bundle wagons and in stack they threshed off of two stacks at the same time. The motor was a six-cylinder gas motor and the radiator was from the truck.